Living the Bible, Literally

While Mark is in Begas, attempting to use his big brain to make money, you people are at my mercy!!1! Let us begin!

Check out today’s Times for a book review of A. J. Jacob’s The Year of Living Biblically, One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible, the story of a secular Jew who attempts to incorporate rules from the good book into modern life:

…”If I wanted to understand my forefathers, this year would let me live like they did, but with less leprosy,” he writes, sounding like Woody Allen on a bad day. So he made a list of scriptural strictures, the more peculiar the better, and set out to fulfill them as a 21st century New Yorker. This mission is exotic to him, he acknowledges, pointing out, “I’ve rarely said the word Lord, unless it’s followed by of the Rings.”

With that mea culpa for any seriously religious readers, Mr. Jacobs goes about creating a methodology. He acknowledges having obsessive-compulsive disorder and loves the idea of following rules. Seventy-two pages later he has typed out every instruction he can find in the Old and New Testaments and set up a month-by-month plan to try them out…


Other trips, notably to the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky., and to Jerry Falwell’s church in Lynchburg, Va., carry Mr. Jacobs beyond his own secular Jewish outlook and engage him in difficult theological questions, however briefly. “In fact, you have to be quite sharp to be a leading creationist,” he writes, after grilling one such scientist about Noah’s Ark.

Ha! A lukewarm review, but probably worth a read!


  1. Firstly, that’s amuch better picture in the sidebar, there. The last one was a bit too howdy-doody.

    “Everyone can be a Jack Welch in the pasture.”…Beneath the gamesmanship and the showing off (Mr. Jacobs sports a full beard and long white robe in the midst of Manhattan)…

    OK! You’ve convinced me that Mr. Jacobs’ book is worth checking out of the lieberry. Perhaps you should have a regular article reviewing books?

  2. Damn you, Ted! Howdy Doody! You put me right back into 3rd grade! 🙂

    Book reviews? My taste in books is too out there for Denialism!

  3. The reviewer sounded a bit disappointed that this guy didn’t run through the streets, stoning adulterers or go foraging for crickets in Central Park. I guess he was hoping the guy wold become a hard ass fundamentalist or something rather than just a modern guy experimenting with an idea.

  4. If you try to live the bible and *dont* make an effort to follow all the really unpleasant instructions, then you arn’t doing it right.

    I havn’t read the book, but if I tried something like that, then I would make a point of making a list of everyone I met who the old laws said I (Or the community) am obliged to execute.

    Ive been thinking for a few seconds, and im up to seven. Including myself.

  5. Ten: Three co-workers today performed actions that, by the OT laws, merit death.

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